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Preview: A Fanciful Life

A Fanciful Life

A Fanciful Life is about all things creative. From photography to papers arts and tea parties to floral and decorating, it's about living a life with the things that I'm passionate about. Meet my cat Gracie and see some of my photos that tell the story.

Last Build Date: Tue, 06 Mar 2018 01:09:16 +0000


Spring is Here

Sat, 23 May 2015 11:09:00 +0000

Hello friends, 

What's my favorite part of this season? Why, flowers of course! I wait for the delicious ranunculus to appear and grab them when I can as the season is very short. 

I only wish they were around a little longer. Now I'm on to peonies which my local Trader Joe's has just gotten in. One thing I love about them is how quickly they open. I placed some that I purchased last night and can't wait to see what they look like when I get up in the morning. As for the ranunculus, I always have my photos until next year. 

It's November Already

Sun, 16 Nov 2014 04:48:00 +0000

My poor blog has been left unattended as I've been spending my online time on Instagram this year. However, I'm still taking photos of lovely things. Since my iPhone is so handy, it makes it easy to take them on the spot.

Oh, I still love my big girl cameras, and I've been taking lots of photos with them too. I've taken some good photography classes this year and I'm looking forward to more next year. Life just gets so busy though!

The holiday season is upon us and I can't wait to bring out my Christmas decor. I'm ready! Just last week I purchased two new Christmas decorations. Oh, I'm trying not to, but these two I could not resist. Photos to come!

Today I had turkey and stuffing for lunch, courtesy of Whole Foods Market, and next week is our staff Thanksgiving lunch at work. How did it get here so quick? No matter, I'm gearing up to get into holiday mode. How about you?

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Floral Spring

Tue, 27 May 2014 23:14:00 +0000

Processed with textures by Kim Klassen for Texture Tuesday.Yes, spring is all about flowers for me. Each week, I can't wait to buy new flowers at my local farmer's market or Trader Joe's. I've accumulated so many vases, jars and other objects to put them in that I've run out of room for them all. My absolute favorite are the ranunculus but unfortunately, their season is short and it's now over. I do have a ton of them that I dried and I don't have room for them either!Processed with textures by Kim Klassen for Texture Tuesday. My posting has become for infrequent as I've been posting on Instagram almost daily. While I prefer photos taken with my DSLR, it's just so easy and convenient to take them with my iPhone and post them. I invite you to follow me there - just click the button at the top of this page to find me. Processed with textures by Kim Klassen for Texture Tuesday.I've also been spending time practicing my calligraphy. I took a wonderful workshop recently called Petals and Penmanship were we did both calligraphy and floral arranging. It was taught by the amazing Maybelle Imasa. Other things keeping me busy include trying to keep up with the multitude of classes I'm enrolled in at any time, photographing new and old objects around my house, and a little remodeling. I recently had granite counters installed in my kitchen (along with a new faucet and sink), and marble countertops in my bathrooms. The kitchen cabinets were painted white and it's like having a brand new kitchen. Love!However, what they say is true. One thing leads to another and now I need some painting and drywall work done, but one step at a time! I'd love to slow down and enjoy the journey but I'm so type A, it's a bit challenging. Well, one breath at a time![...]

Spring Time

Wed, 26 Mar 2014 04:53:00 +0000

The following three photos processed with textures by Kim Klassen for Texture Tuesday.
I'm so happy that my favorite flowers are in bloom. Unfortunately, they have a very short season but not matter, I'll be buying them every week until it ends.

The ranunculus flowers are grown in the coastal area near Half Moon Bay, where the vendor who sells them at our local farmer's market is from. Oh, she has other flowers, but I have to pass them by right now.

These are just too pretty not to go home with me. Now, if I can just keep Nipper from eating the petals. Silly cat.

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A Rose is a Rose

Mon, 03 Mar 2014 03:40:00 +0000

Scented Roses 

Oh, I love these roses. $3.99 a bunch at Trader Joe's so I bought two this weekend. Pink, and white. First, I had them in one large vase. Then, I split them up into several small vases. However, they were all in the same room as I photographed them. 18 roses all together. Beautiful to look at. 

And then, I walked by them in the evening and the scent of all those roses hit me full on. Instant migraine! Unfortunately, I am sensitive to many scents including flowers. Who would think such lovely things from nature would inspire such a reaction. Ah well, I would put them throughout the house if Nipper would not make a meal of them.

Regardless, I'll still be buying roses. Maybe I just won't buy so many. I think I'll bring some to work this week, well, maybe one in a bud vase!

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Day Two: Mobile Posting Experiment

Fri, 21 Feb 2014 16:33:00 +0000

Happy day to you! My computer is at the Apple store being repaired, so I haven't yet seen my last blog post. After I posted, I realized that the photo was cropped and low res for Instagram, so I'm posting another today in my continued experiment on mobile posting. I'll have to see if this one looks different. Do you see a difference?  

Today is my last day of vacation, so I must make the most of it. I plan to practice my calligraphy and take a few photos, after spending a lot of time running around on errands. Of course, not having my Mac will keep me unplugged which is actually a good thing! Enjoy your day today!

Mobile Posting

Thu, 20 Feb 2014 22:28:00 +0000

Today I'm testing the Blogger app on my iPhone. I've never posted from my phone before, so consider this a test! If you post from your phone, please let me know how it works for you. In the meantime, I hope this image looks okay or else it's going bye-bye with this app! (image)

I Love February

Tue, 18 Feb 2014 01:08:00 +0000

February Favorites

Ooh, it's been feeling like spring lately. Even Trader Joe's has ranunculus now. I was so excited to see them because I wait for them each year. Unfortunately, I do need to place them in the garage each night as Nipper tends to make a meal out of them. The past few days, I've had to guard them before she has had a chance to make them dinner!

We're just a few days past Valentine's Day. I enjoyed taking some themed photos with my iPhone and posting them on Instagram. You can see them here on their feed. I post quite often, so feel free to follow me at @afancifullife.

February is a month I look forward to each year. Aside from Valentine's Day, we have President's Day, a birthday, and usually some vacation days. And then there are the cherry blossom trees outside my house that begin to bloom. I'd say February is one of my favorite months. I hope you are enjoying this month as much as I am!

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Cheers To A New Year

Sat, 04 Jan 2014 03:03:00 +0000

It's a New Year!Happy new year to you! It was a short holiday season and here we are in 2014 already. I've started on my resolutions, have you?Each year I make a list organized by different categories. Oh, I never complete the entire list, but that's okay. I know I'm too ambitious but there's alway so much to be done, to learn, or to plan. This year I've actually contemplated not reviewing my lists throughout the year, but rather just concentrating on whatever the moment calls for.I'm not sure I can actually do that, but it's a nice thought!My favorite holiday item this season? Why, it's this adorable bear holding a tree in one paw and a toy sheep in the other. I said I wasn't going to buy any more Christmas decor this year, but there were some things I found that could not be passed up. As time goes by, and the nature of things change, I've found myself taking more and more photos with my iPhone and posting them on Instagram. I love using apps such as Afterlight, Snapseed and PicTapGo to edit the photos. It's hard not to be addicted to that!It's all very quick and easy; such is the changing landscape of social media these days. There's so much inspiration to be found there in the palm of your hand.Cheers to a brand new year![...]

It's That Holly Jolly Time Already

Sun, 01 Dec 2013 19:32:00 +0000

It's that time of year again. Where has the time gone? Well, might as well jump in with both feet.

So, I did a little decorating yesterday. I'm actually putting most of the decor in my multi room where I spend most of my time. I bought the little red vintage wreath last year at the flea market and it's still one of my favorite pieces (bird added by me).

How long have I wanted to get back to doing some calligraphy? A long time!

It's been on my oh-so-long "to do" list forever, so yesterday I took out my pen and paper to play a bit. 

That was after I set up some Christmas items and spent some time taking photos. Still looking for more bottle brush trees. Our new Cost Plus World Market just opened and I hoped to buy some there, but it turned out to be a smaller store and they didn't carry them. Off to the big store!

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. No matter what, we all have something to be grateful for in our lives. Thank you for visiting me today!

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Missing Spring

Tue, 05 Nov 2013 05:00:00 +0000

Processed with textures from Kim Klassen at the Kim Klassen Cafe
Oh, yes. I know it's not spring. But I just had to experiment with some prettiness. I've been inspired lately by Sarah Gardner at Sarah Gardner Photography. Her work is very dreamy and pretty. So, I took this lovely spring flower, and added some textures to create this. Oh, how I wish ranunculus were still in season!

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A Fab Color Combination

Wed, 16 Oct 2013 03:51:00 +0000

White and Pink

What's your favorite color combination? White and pink seems so classic, soft and feminine. Right now, I can get enough white in my house. I've been painting my decor white, slowly. That cheery, yellow living room? I'm imagining it white, too. The two floral chairs? Need to be white also. Slowly I'll get there. For now, I'm having fun creating vignettes, and painting frames and memo boards.

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Roses, Roses

Sun, 29 Sep 2013 18:56:00 +0000

Weekend Roses
No, these roses aren't from my garden; they are from Trader Joe's. I look forward to seeing their floral collection each week when I do my grocery shopping. Great prices and a nice selection, too. 

For these photos, I wanted to play with my 50mm lens at its widest aperature of f1.8 because I love the beautiful bokeh (blur) backgrounds it creates. 

I also like playing with different presets (filters) in Lightroom. This one gives the roses a vintage feel, with a warmer, more yellow hue overall.

Oh, and it helps to have a window that hasn't been cleaned recently!

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My New Garden

Sun, 08 Sep 2013 18:43:00 +0000

A Garden, At LastAbout a month ago, I finally got my backyard to look how I'd only imagined it for several years. It's not a big yard, pretty small actually. But no matter. With just a few rose bushes and an ugly dirt patch, it did not look very happy. So when we hired a garden manager at work, I was hoping that she might help me with my own. Happily, she agreed and the end result is a pretty little garden.I could not wait to put my reading fairy, garden troll and bunnies in there. Then, I added little mushrooms and mosaic balls. I love the added whimsy and am always on the lookout for more bunnies and fairies. Two white rose bushes were added to grow up the trellis for a little more privacy.I've always loved my little white table and chairs. Since I have more space in the yard, I was looking for another set for the middle area. While at the flea market yesterday, I found this exact same set in grey. It was in the high eighty degrees, and so I thought I would finish going through the rest of the market, and then go back to see it again. Well, I went up and down every row and could not find that booth again. It was so hot, I had to give up because the heat was beginning to affect me. So I decided it was not meant to be just yet, and I'll continue my search.Did I mention that in addition to micro bark to cover the soil, I also added cocoa bark? They are the cocoa bean shells and they smell just like cocoa. So often when I'm in the garden, the smell of cocoa wafts by. Smells so good!So there you have it, my garden as of a month ago. Since then, I've added cosmos and the pansies have gone wild. They are the happiest plants in the garden, so full and perky. Oh, and some weeds have popped up too. The are tiny, light little things that I just keep pulling out. It looks so pretty now, I just hope it lasts through the winter. Hope you enjoyed seeing my little yard![...]

Catching Up

Sun, 01 Sep 2013 19:43:00 +0000

Hello there,

Summer is flying by, isn't it? Here we are in September already and I'm not quite ready for autumn (although the retail stores certainly are!). Luckily, we are having sunny, pleasant warm weather still as we usually do in September in the bay area. Gracie is still getting her morning and afternoon sun, but it is shifting so there is not as much. A few mornings were cloud filled and she was visibly depressed! Such a sun cat. Well, it  didn't last for too long but she did take to her bed (actually, it's mine but I just just say it's "ours") as if it was winter.

I have been enjoying my new garden, but I have to admit I was a bit dismayed when I saw all kinds of little green shoots popping up as they are some kind of clover-like weed. I think I was fooled into thinking that the wood chips would hold them down. That's okay, as garden work is a great antidote to being online.

Speaking of those weeds, I think that that is what I must do today, so off to the garden I go! And yes, I promise some garden photos soon!

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Roses in Vase

Thu, 08 Aug 2013 06:38:00 +0000

More Busy Days

Well, how have you been? Life has gotten so busy! Besides much to do at work, I've been taking more online classes, my mom stayed with me for eight days last week, and I'm in the midst of having my backyard redone.

Most of the flowers went in today - all in shades of pink, lavender and purple. It's so pretty that I can't wait until it's done. More work to do this weekend, but luckily I had a master gardener who has done most of the work so far. My specialty is adding the bunnies and fairies! I'm hoping the flowers will attract birds, bees and butterflies. Nipper and Gracie will certainly enjoy watching the live nature show from their windows.

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Back in the Swing of Things

Mon, 15 Jul 2013 05:32:00 +0000

Gone Too LongOh, it's been a while since I've been here. I have been so busy including a one and a half week vacation recently. The highlight? A four-day photography workshop in Oregon by Karen Russell of Snapshots of a Good Life. You may know her from her online workshops that have been waiting-list only due to her popularity.  She has created a workshop for nine women that was the best photography experience I've ever had. Called the Hometown Workshop, it was a fabulous time in Jacksonville, Oregon spent in a historic house built in 1884. What a charming town it was! There is so much to say, but for now, you can see a highlight of the workshop on her blog here. So lucky and blessed to have been able to participate in it with eight wonderful classmates. After sleeping only four hours a night or so during the workshop, it took me the rest of my vacation to recover since we had record-breaking temperatures both in Oregon (100 degrees!) and at home during that time. I did get to the flea market before I went back to work which was fun. I only bought a few bits and bobs but I enjoy seeing everything the vendors sell.In the meantime, I just finished up one online class and I'm starting another tomorrow through the Clickinmoms photography community. I'm always taking one class or another and I'd love to take a break but there are so many great classes out there. Are you a workshop junkie like me? Would love to know what classes you are taking or thinking of taking. So many classes, so little time![...]

Rosy Times

Sun, 16 Jun 2013 04:54:00 +0000

Remnants of Roses

The week before last, I bought a bunch of mixed roses. After a few days, I put them from one vase into several small ones. They lasted much longer than the peonies I bought last week which only lasted a matter of days. They may be getting shabby, but I don't mind.

The floral selection was not so good this week at Trader Joe's. They had rearranged the store and that department seemed a bit smaller. So, since I had purchased a ton of things already from the farmer's market and will be so busy getting things prepared for Father's Day, I decided to forego them this one week.
Tomorrow, I'll check out my own rose bushes, and if there are blooms, I'll cut some of them. That's between a bit of cooking, cleaning, photographing, visiting... it's a busy day!

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More Reasons to Love the Month of June

Mon, 03 Jun 2013 05:59:00 +0000

So Excited for the Month of JuneSo far, so good this month. Yesterday I attended two classes given by Paul Van Allen, a national trainer for Nikon, at our local camera store. I got some great tips and was really inspired to try using the video feature in my camera.My sister and I had a great lunch at the Fish Market in Palo Alto in between classes. The weather was really warm and we sat outside in their patio surrounded by flowers. I could have sat there all afternoon!Today someone came over to see my sad backyard and help me determine what needs to be done to make it pretty again. I'm really excited that we'll be putting in a lot of new flowers and plants. There are so many ways to go in terms of options. Ground cover, shrubs, trees, vines, flowers, etc. So many decisions! So looking forward to getting my backyard in shape again and spending time in it during the summer. Of course, all my bunny and fairy statuary will be placed throughout the plants, giving them a new home. Who knows, I may have to even buy bunnies and fairies.And the big reason I'm excited for June is that I'll be attending a photography workshop from Karen Russell. I've admired her photography for years but besides that, she's a really cool person. So down-to-earth and she has the most adorable family. I can't wait to meet them as I've followed them on her blog for a number of years. There will be nine ladies in the workshop and we'll be working together from early in the morning to late at night. So hoping I learn a lot!Oh, and did I mention one of my favorite days in the year is June 21? Yes, the first day of summer always makes me happy.[...]

Just Pretty Flowers

Thu, 23 May 2013 05:36:00 +0000

Just thought I'd share some pretty ranunculus flowers. I love the softness they exude. And who can resist pink? Or white with a sprinkle of pink?
The week is almost over and I'm so looking forward to the three day memorial weekend.  Of course, I'll be making my usual trip to the farmer's market to buy more flowers. But it's also a great time to get caught up on things, and to spend some time relaxing too. So many things to do, so little time so yay for the extra day!

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Keeping Up

Fri, 10 May 2013 05:39:00 +0000

Well, I'm trying to take photos of anything other than flowers, but it is spring which makes it hard to do. How about a photo of a photo of flowers? Ha! I've been posting lots of my flower photos on Instagram.  I love the immediacy of taking a photo with my iPhone and posting it right from there.

There's so much social media today that it's hard to keep up. Really, who has time for more than a few? There just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day. Then again, there's just too much on my to-do list. Yes, one more day a week would be perfect.

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Wed, 24 Apr 2013 03:14:00 +0000


Just Beautiful

My addiction to RadLab is in full swing. I took a photo of these beautiful ranunculus flowers and applied these different RadLab treatments. I could do this all day (sigh). I hope you are enjoying your Spring days!

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Pink Spring

Sun, 14 Apr 2013 17:35:00 +0000

Think Pink!

So loving all the spring flowers! Last week I bought a bunch of pink ranunculus and divided them into small vases. Let me just say it was pretty hard to decide which color bunch to buy as they were all so gorgeous. My farmer's market vendor actually had fewer colors to choose from but the trusty Trader Joe had lots -- my go-to place for flowers!

The roses are left over from a week or two ago but were still looking good.  I just took them out and hung them to dry. I've got little flowers drying all over the place, it's so hard to let go of them. Fresh or dry, they all make great photo opportunities.

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Cupcakes and Cats

Tue, 02 Apr 2013 05:30:00 +0000

Cupcake photo processed with textures from Kim Klassen for Texture Tuesday
Happy Birthday Nippy

Today Nipper, our black and white tuxedo cat, is eight years old.  I'd love to show you a photo of her, but she sleeps all day and doesn't do much posing.

I wanted to put a birthday hat on her but, well, being a cat, she doesn't do hats either.

My sister discovered a new Kara's Cupcakes store while we were downtown in Burlingame today. Being the cupcake lover she is, she could not resist and bought three, including one for Gracie, our grey and white tuxedo. Yes, I know it was Nip's birthday, but she doesn't eat cupcakes while Gracie goes nuts for cupcakes. Actually, she only eats the frosting.

So here's Gracie (even though it's not her birthday) eyeing the lemon cupcake before she got her licks in. I noticed the pink bunny on top when we got home...they must have had them leftover from Easter. And Nippy? Well, she just napped through it all.

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Spring Thing

Tue, 26 Mar 2013 05:04:00 +0000

All photos processed with textures by Kim Klassen for Texture Tuesday
Oh, the ranunculus are back - happy Spring! 
The flower vendor at the farmer's market now has one of my favorite flowers. Ahhh, Spring. Now that winter is over, it's a joy going to the farmer's market each Saturday. So much wonderful produce and sunny days again. Asparagus is also back and we've been eating it almost every night. Oh, and chard sautéed with garlic and olive oil too. So much goodness at the market!
I also scored a bunch of faux veggies for home decor at a garage sale a few weeks ago. A home stager was having her annual garage sale - love those quality sales. The monthly flea market that I like going to is coming up in a few weeks. I'm trying to resist going because I don't really need anything (not to mention that I just bought a new lens for my camera - I need to stop spending for the next two years to make up for that one!). 

Today I did my taxes and got a surprise, only it wasn't the happy one I was expecting. For the first time that I can remember, I actually owed taxes instead of getting a refund. And this was after I spent the expected refund and then some last weekend on my new lens! Ah well, it will all balance out in the long run. Enjoy your Spring days!

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